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Thumper is a fast, reflex based game where the player controls a futuristic space beetle racing on a track floating in a void. Rhythm based input is required to progress and prevent crashes, moving through levels and defeating a giant head as a boss several times. Controls are limited to four directions along with a single button. They are used in different combinations to overcome obstacles. The beetle moves forward automatically and the speed cannot be controlled. Only a single lane is available at first, but later levels have multiple ones. Sharp turns are taken by holding the button while going left or right. Pressing the button once needs to be timed to glowing elements on the track. The button can be held to float and burst through barriers. When it is combined with an upwards motion the beetle unfolds its wings and can break through hoops as another type of barrier. These actions often need to be performed as combos in quick succession.

Each level uses a variant of an industrial soundtrack with grinding and booming elements, matching the physicality of the gameplay as the space beetle smashes around the track. The player's actions also add to the soundtrack, as most of soundtrack on top of the constant noise is only activated through clearing obstacles successfully. Parts such as the glowing track elements can be missed, removing the beat briefly, but when missed most other obstacles lead to a punishment. In each section of a level only a single crash or missed obstacle is allowed, a second one leads to a restart right away.

Each section flows into the next and at the end of one a score is shown briefly, with different rankings based on the total score, completed turns and sustained damage. Every now and then there are boss fights where a sequence is looped until it is completed entirely and a glow button is 'thumped' to fire and damage the floating head. There are nine main levels in total, unlocked gradually, with about 20 sections for each one, linked together as a single sequence. There is an unlimited amount of lives. Sometimes optional elements can be collected for a high score.


Thumper Windows Fragments float in the background that changes constantly.
Thumper Windows Main menu
Thumper Windows A glowing item to thump is coming up in the distance.
Thumper Windows A long turn to the left with lots of sparks

Promo Images

Thumper Screenshot
Thumper Screenshot
Thumper Screenshot
Thumper Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "暴走甲虫" -- Simplified Chinese Spelling
  • "THUMPER リズム・バイオレンスゲーム" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Runaway Beetle" -- Chinese Title

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User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Switch Player Nintendo Switch May 26, 2017 4.6 out of 5 92
GameSpot PlayStation 4 Aug 17, 2017 9 out of 10 90
IGN PlayStation 4 Oct 05, 2016 9 out of 10 90
bemanistyle PlayStation 4 Oct 05, 2016 9 out of 10 90
VR-World PlayStation 4 Jan 30, 2017 9 out of 10 90
MAN!AC PlayStation 4 Oct 25, 2016 83 out of 100 83 Xbox One Aug 22, 2017 83 out of 100 83 PlayStation 4 Oct 17, 2016 83 out of 100 83
Destructoid PlayStation 4 Oct 09, 2016 8 out of 10 80


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  • The Game Awards
    • 2016 – Best Music/Sound Design – Nominated
    • 2016 – Best VR Game – Nominated

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Contributed to by Rik Hideto (411448), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (394422), Harmony♡ (20665) and Sciere (742526)